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Shannyn Moore

I've just returned home from a trip Outside that morphed into "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Rants." Planes, trains and automobiles, thousands of miles from home with a couple of my best politically savvy girlfriends.

Unless you're living in a Kaczynskiesque cabin and haven't gone Outside for at least five years, you have no doubt noticed the changes in travel. No, I'm not talking about the TSA (though I'm happy to report JFK Airport TSA was lovely compared to Reagan a year ago. It kind of makes sense)...

Shannyn Moore

The election filing deadline is over and we head into a campaign season and the joys of robocalls, outside money and baby kissing. There will be lots of promises. But really this election will come down to oil taxes.

There's a trillion dollars of oil left on the North Slope, and the oil companies are doing their darndest to get every penny. Their job is to make as much as they can for their shareholders. The problem for Alaskans is, the oil companies want to elect a bunch of rubber-stamp legislators who will sit across the bargaining table from them and give them whatever they want.

Shame on us if we let them...

Shannyn Moore

My friends, once again, Alaska is charting new waters.

The GOP-heavy redistricting board, in its zeal to break up the bipartisan coalition in charge of the Alaska Senate, has made Joe Hazelwood look like a model seaman.

Let's see how the entire state "fetched up."

Alaska's Supreme Court, listing like a dinghy in 20-foot seas, decided by a 3-2 vote that we can run this year's election on an unconstitutional map of election districts. Why? No time to do a constitutional version.

The board's map still has one last hurdle to clear: the Department of Justice, which must agree that minority Alaskans will be fairly represented in Juneau. The feds must approve Alaska's map because of our history of disenfranchising of First Alaskans...

Shannyn Moore

This time of year I tend to get nostalgic about commercial fishing. I miss the nocturnal calm of wheel watch and still feel lucky to be alive when recalling some of the more harrowing moments.

We were always eager to get into port after a stormy trip across the Gulf. Once again we'd survived to hear the most amazing voice ever on the radio. Peggy Dyson of Kodiak would come on the radio twice a day. "Hello all mariners, hello all mariners, this is WBH-Two-Nine Kodiak."

Peggy was our lifeline to land life. She'd give baseball scores, announcements of babies born and death notices. This was before cellphones and fax machines. I don't know that she ever slept; it felt like she was always there for us...

Shannyn Moore

While I was perusing and marking up stories for my daily radio show, my daughter asked, "Why all the heavy sighs?"

For a year I've been covering "War on Women" stories. Between Kansas letting pharmacists decide if they want to fill prescriptions, a Mississippi lawmaker saying coat-hanger abortions were part of a value system and Arizona blocking funding for contraceptives for poor women, I wondered what the end goal was.

The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized this week. House Republicans stripped it of protections for immigrant women before it passed with fewer votes than it had co-sponsors back in 1994 when it first became law.

I realize women are born with eggs and we can make milk, but that doesn't make us "Dairy."...

Shannyn Moore

My mom liked her schedule. Every day had regular chores, but a few had special tasks.

Wednesdays we made bread. On a snowy, wood stove-cranking sort of day, I would sit on the kitchen counter. As she measured ingredients, I put them in the bowl. Our 1970s wallpaper had strawberries. I was 4.

My mother's Southern accent flavored the activity.

"When you grow up, Shannyn, you can have your own little girl and make bread on Wednesdays."

"Do you get to tell me what to do when I'm a grown up?!"...

Shannyn Moore

Choose Respect.

Gov. Sean Parnell is starring in an ad campaign in which he thanks Alaskans for "choosing respect." Hooray! A bumper sticker! Parades! At long last we're raising awareness on an issue too many Alaskans know far too well. Initially, I applauded the governor's effort. I assumed there would be legislation and funding behind it. You know, something more than just a slogan and state employees carrying signs.

Choose Respect?...

Shannyn Moore

Remember standardized testing when you were a kid? You'd fill in those ovals with that Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 until your eyes bugged out. Schools provided "smart snacks" of carrots and apples on testing days.

Now imagine if they let you grade the tests.

I'm sure you're good, honest folks, but what a horrible position to put you in. "Oh, I knew this answer, I just forgot."

That's basically what Anchorage Assembly chair Ernie Hall and the "election commission" appointed by Mayor Dan Sullivan, did this week.

They graded their own performance on a debacle of an election and said, "There's nothing to see, nothing wrong, and we don't want anyone else to grade us either!"...

Shannyn Moore

If you're selling something great, you don't need high-pressure salesmen. People will break down your door to buy it. "You don't have to shove an ice cream cone down a kid's throat," as Pop often noted.

This week, Gov. Sean Parnell called the Legislature back for a "special" session. It reminded me of Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride": "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Over the last six years, there have been almost as many special sessions as unspecial ones...

Shannyn Moore

If democracy were a religion, voting would be the sacrament.

I grew up in "The First Free-Range Organic Christian Church of Homer." Sundays brought a message, fellowship and a line of repentant souls taking Communion -- a remembrance of sacrifice.

The first time I cast my vote, it felt similar. The blood shed for my right to stand at a flag-draped table and make my choice part of the collective wasn't lost on me. I had one of those "Come to Jesus" moments and haven't missed an election since...

Shannyn Moore